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Time for letters to Governor Brown

by admin on December 2, 2013

We don’t want to put words in your mouth (and besides, form letters to politicians are somewhat less effective than those that are personalized). But, we need you to send Governor Jerry Brown a letter expressing your opposition to the peripheral tunnels and the Bay Delta Conservation Plan in time for the December 13, 2013 release of the BDCP environmental impact report.

Here is a list of things NOT to like about the Bay Delta Conservation Plan. Go ahead and use as many of these ideas as you like, and feel free to add to your letter your own objections to this monstrous boondoggle. In addition, please email a copy of your letter to Restore the Delta for publication at [email protected]. Your letter should be addressed to: Governor Jerry Brown, c/o State Capitol, Suite 1173, Sacramento, CA 95814 and the salutation should read: The Honorable Edmund G. Brown.

Ideas for letters!

  • It will cost a lot of money: close to $17 billion to construct the Peripheral Tunnels, plus $8 billion for conservation measures. This doesn’t include financing costs over the 50-year term of the project, which bring the total to over $50 billion.
  • When was the last time that you saw a major public works project that didn’t far exceed initial cost estimates?
  • The water exporters don’t want to pay for the conservation measures they need to get the project permitted, so they are identifying those conservation measures as “public benefits” and expecting taxpayers to fund them with one water bond in 2014 and another water bond sometime in the future. Polls show that Californians are not in the mood to approve a water bond.
  • The project planners admit that the Peripheral Tunnels will not make any additional water available to the water contractors who are expected to pay for the project. The best they can promise is a more reliable supply-one that won’t fluctuate because of restrictions to project endangered species. But given California’s cycles of dry and wet years, BDCP can’t even guarantee the reduced amount.
  • As discussed in a recent letter from Friends of the San Francisco Estuary to the State Water Resources Control Board, the BDCP fails to analyze possible effects on San Francisco Bay. “The Plan Area terminates at Carquinez Bridge, effectively excluding the entirety of San Francisco Bay. As a result, impacts to water quality, aquatic habitats, fish and wildlife, and estuarine dynamics in the San Francisco and San Pablo Bays have not been considered adequately in the Draft EIR/EIS and Effects Analysis. As noted by the National Research Council review of BDCP in 2011: since BDCP aims to address management and restoration of the San Francisco Bay-Delta, this is a significant omission that must be rectified.”
  • The agricultural contractors in the San Joaquin Valley will get about 2/3 of the water, but they will have a hard time affording the extra costs, especially when they won’t be getting any extra water. Urban ratepayers will be expected to pay the lion’s share for this project.
  • The project will take 9 to 10 years to build, during which time the contractors will be expected to pay for water they aren’t getting.
  • The Brown Administration wants to build the tunnels before the conservation measures are all in place, and they won’t know until after they begin to operate them whether the tunnels will actually be better for endangered species. If they aren’t, they won’t be able to operate the tunnels, and the state will have a multi-billion dollar stranded asset.
  • The Peripheral Tunnels will have the ability to take up to two-thirds of the flow of the Sacramento River and send it under the Delta to the export pumps at Tracy. This will take the Delta’s largest supply of fresh water and make it unavailable to fish and other species including people in both the Delta itself and in the Estuary and San Francisco Bay.
  • In return for taking most of the fresh water from the system, BDCP proposes to create 145,000 acres of habitat in the Delta. Much of this will take agricultural land out of cultivation, at a multi-million dollar cost to the Delta regional economy. Meanwhile, there’s absolutely no guarantee that habitat creation will work the way they want it to. Habitat creation on anything like this scale does not have a good track record for success. Nature just tends not to respond as anticipated. First of all, fish need water.
  • Although they will have the ability to take water from the North Delta, exporters actually expect to export water from the South Delta, as they currently do, over half the time, particularly in dry years when they need flows from the Cosumnes and Mokelumne rivers. Nevertheless, BDCP does not include any new fish screens in the South Delta to protect the fish that are currently killed by operations there.
  • During the 9 to 10 year construction period, people in the Delta will be subjected to transportation disruptions, heavy construction traffic, 24/7 construction noise (including long periods of continuous pile-driving), dewatering of their groundwater, reduced water supplies and water quality, and decreased property values. The draft environmental documents for BDCP identify hundreds of adverse impacts, including 48 that are called “significant and unavoidable,” which means that the water contractors paying for the project won’t be expected to fix or mitigate them.
  • Marinas will be dry-docked and navigation will be restricted as water elevations are lowered, first for construction and later for operation of the project.
  • Recreational and commercial fishing will suffer from reduced flows and reduced water quality in the Delta, the Estuary, and the Bay.
  • When the Legislature passed the Delta Reform Act in 2009, it required that the co-equal goals of 1) water supply reliability and 2) ecosystem restoration be met while 3) reducing reliance on the Delta and 4) protecting the Delta itself. The Bay Delta Conservation plan fails on every count.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Leslie Story December 2, 2013 at 11:19 pm

Stop the Peripheral Tunnels for any or all of the reasons below:It will cost a lot of money: close to $17 billion to construct the Peripheral Tunnels, plus $8 billion for conservation measures. This doesn’t include financing costs over the 50-year term of the project, which bring the total to over $50 billion.
When was the last time that you saw a major public works project that didn’t far exceed initial cost estimates?
The water exporters don’t want to pay for the conservation measures they need to get the project permitted, so they are identifying those conservation measures as “public benefits” and expecting taxpayers to fund them with one water bond in 2014 and another water bond sometime in the future. Polls show that Californians are not in the mood to approve a water bond.
The project planners admit that the Peripheral Tunnels will not make any additional water available to the water contractors who are expected to pay for the project. The best they can promise is a more reliable supply-one that won’t fluctuate because of restrictions to project endangered species. But given California’s cycles of dry and wet years, BDCP can’t even guarantee the reduced amount.
As discussed in a recent letter from Friends of the San Francisco Estuary to the State Water Resources Control Board, the BDCP fails to analyze possible effects on San Francisco Bay. “The Plan Area terminates at Carquinez Bridge, effectively excluding the entirety of San Francisco Bay. As a result, impacts to water quality, aquatic habitats, fish and wildlife, and estuarine dynamics in the San Francisco and San Pablo Bays have not been considered adequately in the Draft EIR/EIS and Effects Analysis. As noted by the National Research Council review of BDCP in 2011: since BDCP aims to address management and restoration of the San Francisco Bay-Delta, this is a significant omission that must be rectified.”
The agricultural contractors in the San Joaquin Valley will get about 2/3 of the water, but they will have a hard time affording the extra costs, especially when they won’t be getting any extra water. Urban ratepayers will be expected to pay the lion’s share for this project.
The project will take 9 to 10 years to build, during which time the contractors will be expected to pay for water they aren’t getting.
The Brown Administration wants to build the tunnels before the conservation measures are all in place, and they won’t know until after they begin to operate them whether the tunnels will actually be better for endangered species. If they aren’t, they won’t be able to operate the tunnels, and the state will have a multi-billion dollar stranded asset.
The Peripheral Tunnels will have the ability to take up to two-thirds of the flow of the Sacramento River and send it under the Delta to the export pumps at Tracy. This will take the Delta’s largest supply of fresh water and make it unavailable to fish and other species including people in both the Delta itself and in the Estuary and San Francisco Bay.
In return for taking most of the fresh water from the system, BDCP proposes to create 145,000 acres of habitat in the Delta. Much of this will take agricultural land out of cultivation, at a multi-million dollar cost to the Delta regional economy. Meanwhile, there’s absolutely no guarantee that habitat creation will work the way they want it to. Habitat creation on anything like this scale does not have a good track record for success. Nature just tends not to respond as anticipated. First of all, fish need water.
Although they will have the ability to take water from the North Delta, exporters actually expect to export water from the South Delta, as they currently do, over half the time, particularly in dry years when they need flows from the Cosumnes and Mokelumne rivers. Nevertheless, BDCP does not include any new fish screens in the South Delta to protect the fish that are currently killed by operations there.
During the 9 to 10 year construction period, people in the Delta will be subjected to transportation disruptions, heavy construction traffic, 24/7 construction noise (including long periods of continuous pile-driving), dewatering of their groundwater, reduced water supplies and water quality, and decreased property values. The draft environmental documents for BDCP identify hundreds of adverse impacts, including 48 that are called “significant and unavoidable,” which means that the water contractors paying for the project won’t be expected to fix or mitigate them.
Marinas will be dry-docked and navigation will be restricted as water elevations are lowered, first for construction and later for operation of the project.
Recreational and commercial fishing will suffer from reduced flows and reduced water quality in the Delta, the Estuary, and the Bay.
When the Legislature passed the Delta Reform Act in 2009, it required that the co-equal goals of 1) water supply reliability and 2) ecosystem restoration be met while 3) reducing reliance on the Delta and 4) protecting the Delta itself. The Bay Delta Conservation plan fails on every count.
Thank You; Leslie Story

Reply

james ensslin December 2, 2013 at 11:35 pm

i voted for you because i thought you would help protect our environment. please dont let me down mr brown. please say no about the peripheral canal.

Reply

Greg Mariano December 3, 2013 at 2:21 pm

I voted for you because I thought you would protect the environment. We both know this project is really all about money for people like Mr. Resnick. The fact that you know the name and accept contributions from him says enough we both know this project has no good science supporting it. We the people voted down the canal in the 80′s. Now you choose to shove it down our throats with out a vote. We both know why this is, it’s a bad bill that will damage the Delta and be the demise of the Wild Sacramento Salmon. It will also destroy the stripped bass. When I was in school I learned about what a success the stripped bass project was. How the bass came on trains and we’re introduced to the west coast. They have generated billions of dollars since there introduction. Who farms in a desert?? Simple common sense tell you that is not a good idea!! Can you say selenium?? Why not give them the water that LA throws away every day from there sewage treatment plant. That water would be the 3rd largest river in the nation if it were a river. Does this just make to much sense, or is it about profits for a few greedy water pirates and politicians than can be bought by them?? When and where is the political injustice going to stop killing this country? This is a prime example of exactly what is wrong with it.GREED GREED GREED

Reply

Angela Gibson December 4, 2013 at 7:44 pm

I voted for you, as well, and agree with everything Greg Mariano said before my letter. Stop this insane project, and protect this area for posterity.

Reply

Dick Offerman December 12, 2013 at 5:46 pm

I am writing you on a very notable day in California water history. Today is the release day for the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) environmental impact report. Starting today, taxpayers will have 120 days to make public comment on this report. The following are my grave concerns regarding this project.

First and foremost is the staggering amount of money the “tunnels project” will cost and knowing that all of it may go down the drain due to the Sacramento River being a very unreliable water source.

I am a history buff and I love to research any information I can find on our Native American forefathers. The one hard fact that comes across time and again in these readings were the extremely prolonged droughts that have plagued the Western United States over the last thousand years and will most assuredly plague us in the future.

I would suggest that a new plan be considered where the Central Valley agriculture interests continue to get water diverted to them via the current Delta transport system but revise the plan to have the Southern Californian water districts join forces to build multiple desalination plants all along the Southern Californian coast.

I did some desalination research back in 2011 and found that there were over 1,500 desalination plants operating worldwide. There are reasonable concerns about the effect on ocean life but I have firsthand knowledge that water intake structures can be designed to prevent fish and fish eggs from being either entrapped or sucked into the intake pumps. I was a control system sub-contractor to an Anchorage, AL firm, Gunderboom who have designed multiple Aquatic Fish Barrier systems that really work.

I read that the water exporters are reluctant to pay for the mandated conservation measures so it is likely that taxpayers will be asked to fund them with multiple water bonds in the future. I will be among the many taxpayers who will fight what in this case would amount to unfair taxes.

Please stop the “tunnels project” and save the Delta. Build desalination for our future!

Dick Offerman

Reply

Joan Javelos January 10, 2014 at 4:47 pm

Jan. 9, 2014
The Honorable Edmund G. Brown,

I am writing you in regards to my extreme worry that the 2 Peripheral Tunnels that YOU want to build under The San Joaquin-Sacramento Delta, with my tax dollars, will come to pass. Below are a few worries that I have and why I DO NOT WANT THE TUNNELS!!
? It will cost a lot of money: close to $17 billion to construct the Peripheral Tunnels, plus $8 billion for conservation measures. This doesn’t include financing costs over the 50-year term of the project, which bring the total to over $50 billion. The cost keeps going up every month.

? The Peripheral Tunnels will have the ability to take up to two-thirds of the flow of the Sacramento River and send it under the Delta to the export pumps at Tracy. This will take the Delta’s largest supply of fresh water and make it unavailable to fish and other species including people in both the Delta itself and in the Estuary and San Francisco Bay.

? In return for taking most of the fresh water from the system, BDCP proposes to create 145,000 acres of habitat in the Delta. Much of this will take agricultural land out of cultivation, at a multi-million dollar cost to the Delta regional economy. Meanwhile, there’s absolutely no guarantee that habitat creation will work the way they want it to. Habitat creation on anything like this scale does not have a good track record for success. Nature just tends not to respond as anticipated. First of all, fish need water.

? I am also concerned about the loss of high grade farmland that will be destroyed.

I feel that your tunnels will strap Californians with more taxes that my Grandkids will have to pay when I’m gone.
If you really want to leave a legacy, put the billions of dollars into education and people of this nation will say ”Look what Jerry Brown did, he really improved the state the right way. ”
Again, I want to reiterate, I AM AGAINST THE TUNNELS and The BDCP has got it wrong.
In the past I have voted for you but your actions in regards to not allowing the voters to vote on the tunnels which is such a large state project, has alienated me. We are the people that will be paying for your brown river for decades. Please stop the tunnels.

Joan Javelos

Reply

Roger Pervere January 21, 2014 at 2:40 am

Its time our water stopped going south and causing a shortage of water in the northern part of California. Why should northern California have a shortage of water just to ship water south. It will cost billions to build the tunnels that they have planed, and this money that the State doesn’t have should be used to support our police and fire departments. Stop wasting money that you don’t have!

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